The introduction of broadband internet at home along with the growing decline of traditional businesses has aided the rise of e-commerce sector in the country. Bangladeshi online businesses followed the likes of industry trendsetters from the UK and USA.
The online business scene in the country began around 2011. The Bangladesh Bank initiated the National Payment Switch which opened the online payment system helping e-commerce operators and customers alike.
Currently there are over 2,000 online sites and over 50,000 Facebook outlets for online businesses. The sector is enjoying annual revenue of Tk 10 billion in sales, according to Abdul Wahed Tamal, general secretary of the executive committee of E-Commerce Association of Bangladesh.
Analysts suggest that this major boom in e-commerce can be attributed to a combination of factors including: traffic congestion on roads, ever increasing summer heat, overcrowded shopping malls and haggling over prices. Now people can spend more time at home and choose from a wide range of products or services through online sites.
However E-commerce has also come with its fair share of issues as well. Sometimes customers get scammed and do not receive products after payment and sometimes they are sold faulty products.
Another disadvantage is that customers cannot try the product before buying. A limitless amount of choices may also cause monotony. Regularly spending time shopping online may have adverse effects on health as well. At the end of the day it is up to both the customers and the sellers to utilise e-commerce in the best possible way and ensure a favourable outcome.
Mehran Sakib Choudhury
Department of Business Administration
East West University, Dhaka